Honda CRF 450 R (2017) in the driving report

Honda CRF 450 R (2017) in the driving report
Honda

Honda CRF 450 R (2017) in the driving report

Honda CRF 450 R (2017) in the driving report

Honda CRF 450 R (2017) in the driving report

Honda CRF 450 R (2017) in the driving report

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Honda CRF 450 R (2017) in the driving report
Honda

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Honda CRF 450 R – 2017 model year.

Honda CRF 450 R (2017) in the driving report
Honda

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Rotwild: The Honda CRF 450 R has been designed from scratch.

Honda CRF 450 R (2017) in the driving report
Honda

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When stripped, it becomes clear how compact the CRF is.

Honda CRF 450 R (2017) in the driving report
Honda

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The new Unicam 450 now has inlet valves operated by rocker arms and straight intake paths that open into the airbox above the shock absorber.

Honda CRF 450 R (2017) in the driving report
Laughter

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With the optional E-Start retrofit kit, the battery is housed in the airbox as with KTM.

Honda CRF 450 R (2017) in the driving report
Honda

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Honda CRF 450 R – 2017 model year.

Honda CRF 450 R (2017) in the driving report
Honda

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Honda CRF 450 R – 2017 model year.

Honda CRF 450 R (2017) in the driving report
Honda

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Honda CRF 450 R – 2017 model year.

Honda CRF 450 R (2017) in the driving report
Honda

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Honda CRF 450 R – 2017 model year.

Honda CRF 450 R (2017) in the driving report
Honda

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Honda CRF 450 R – 2017 model year.

Honda CRF 450 R (2017) in the driving report
Honda

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Honda CRF 450 R – 2017 model year.

Honda CRF 450 R (2017) in the driving report
Honda

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Honda CRF 450 R – 2017 model year.

Honda CRF 450 R (2017) in the driving report

Everything new in model year 2017

Red – of course. But otherwise everything is really new about the Honda CRF 450 R – model year 2017. Can it recapture green and orange lost ground? The driving report provides the first information.

Honda fans among the crossers have not had an easy life recently. The 450 had become tame and tame in the last few years. Certainly easy to drive for hobby riders, but fast riders missed the aggressive punch that a Kawasaki or KTM, for example, offer. And in terms of the chassis, the sixth CRF generation was no longer completely up to date. Something completely new was urgently needed. And that’s now here, namely the completely renovated Honda C.RF 450 R from the 2017 vintage. Just looking at the first photos it became clear: The red ones really mean business. But how does this innovative high-tech machine really drive? MOTORRAD employee Didi Lacher was able to try it out in Sardinia.

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Honda CRF 450 R (2017) in the driving report

Honda CRF 450 R (2017) in the driving report
Everything new in model year 2017

Machine is extremely compact

First impression when trying out the seat: the machine is extremely compact and fits smaller drivers ergonomically. For taller pilots from 1.80 meters it will be tight, the new Honda CRF 450 R is extremely short. Unfortunately, there are no adjustment options on the handlebars and rests. The kickstarter is used to start as standard, the optional retrofit electric starter was not installed on the test machines. It costs 700 euros extra, so a CRF would have reached the high price level of KTM. Contrary to rumors from the USA, the test machines were always easy to kick.

The new Honda CRF 450 R looks extremely light and agile

Already in the first few meters it is noticeable how low the center of gravity appears. The Honda CRF 450 R looks incredibly light and agile, especially in the air. However, with a dry weight of around 106 kilograms, the Kickstart Honda is objectively much heavier than an E-Start KTM. Even if there is no subjective feeling of the additional weight, which is due to the mass centralization and the Honda-typical balance. The 450 seems uneasy on fast passages, especially on the brakes. This certainly has something to do with the extremely soft fork. This can only be partially and temporarily compensated for by closing the pressure damping and pushing through the fork legs.

Transmission shifts smoothly

The Unicam engine is also completely new, with its straight intake duct pointing upwards at an angle. It should deliver around 60 hp, which seems plausible in view of the enormous thrust out of the curve. The Honda single has considerably more torque than its predecessor, the performance handicap is no longer an issue. At the top it turns more freely, but provides less and less propulsion. Shifting earlier brings more traction. The CRF engine still runs smoothly and lively, but harder than before under load. The sound from the two short dampers is still extremely cautious, perhaps also a reason for the pressure dropping at the top. The transmission of the Honda CRF 450 R shifts as smoothly as butter. In contrast, the relatively stiff clutch does not appear particularly stable and had to be readjusted several times during the test laps. Conclusion: The 2017 model undoubtedly has enormous potential, but it lacks a little fine-tuning here and there. This primarily affects the soft fork, the driver may also have to improve ergonomics or the clutch.

Honda CRF 450 R (model year 2017) – what’s new?

engine

  • Intake ducts straightened
  • Unicam valve control now with rocker arms, larger inlet valves
  • Compression ratio increased from 12.5 to 13.5: 1
  • Oil supply shared for crankshaft drive and gearbox instead of separately
  • Clutch downsized with seven instead of eight friction disks
  • E-start kit optional (700 euros)

landing gear

  • New and lighter aluminum frame, with optimized rigidity
  • Tank made of titanium sheet, 0.5 kg lighter
  • 49er Showa fork with steel springs instead of air suspension
  • Exhaust system redesigned, shorter rear silencer
  • Front silhouette 30 mm narrower
  • Price 8,700 euros plus 175 euros for ancillary costs

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